tv CNN Tonight CNN December 30, 2009 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
fabulous. this poster is hanging in washington. first lady confirmed she no longer wears real fur. only the fake fur. check out cnnpolitics.com. up next, cnn tonight. tonight, red flags that should never have been missed. intel on the air lyle bombing suspect in hands. >> to have this critical information, shared, it could have been compiled and a forward, clearer picture of the suspect would have emerged. >> who dropped the ball and would it happen again? and tracking al qaeda. the hunt is on. are we still one step behind the terrorists? also, the wild mustangs.
a symbol of the american west and a national treasure. no longer free to roam. >> what government organization rounds of wild life to protect them. they are doing fine. >> should the wild mustangs stay wild. good evening and thanks for being with us tonight. serious finger-pointing this evening about how the government handled the failed northwest airline terrorist attack. after the attack was that warted, they say the system worked to keep other aircraft safe. not so fast says the union that represents airline pilots. it says that the government left most pilots in the dark. al qaeda is known for launching
simultaneous attacks. 9/11 is the most popular. >> reporter: a man with a bomb trying to take down an airplane. passengers and crew jump into action. are all aircraft in the skies warned? no. and some pilots are furious. >> out rage. the pilot force is out raged they didn't receive this information. >> reporter: the only pilots notified with those on flights inbound from europe. >> within literally an hour to 90 minutes, all 128 flights in the air had been notified to take special measures in light of what had occurred. >> reporter: 128 were notified but at the time the flight landed, there were 3500 flights in the air in the u.s. and the number grew through the
afternoon in the tsa said it made a risk-based decision to notify some pilots based on inten against information. but the pilots say remember history. 9/11 and all al qaeda plots involved multiple attacks. and the tsa had no way of knowing if that pattern was being repeated and pilots should have been informed. >> it's important all the airborne crews receive the information to modify the security procedures to restrict movement in the cabin and monitor access to the cockpit door. that was not done in this case. >> reporter: this is a con cream example of why it's important. on september 11th, peagess were able to thwart the hijackers and take the plane down in the air because they learned in the air.
>> any response why there wasn't a broader alert? >> as i mentioned in the piece, they said it was a risk-based tigs. at the fwining, they weren't sure what they had on their hands. the early reports the were this was a guy with a fire cracker. the pilots are saying, when you knew, you should have told us. >> jeanne meserve, thanks. new images of the failed christmas terror attacks. you are looking at a new picture from northwest flight 16a. it was from there that umar farouk abdulmutallab tried to blow up the plane and all of the passengers. he appeared to pick the seat deliberately. he was seated above the plane's fuel tanks.
congress demanding answers about how the government handle the failed terror attack. ed henry is in honolulu with the president. what was revealed in the meetings. >> reporter: it's interesting. they were behind closed doors to give you an idea of the classified information. the obama administration, trying to fill in congressional staff. but i have spoken to officials who feel there are a lot of an answered questions in up they feel the office of drerkter of national inten against, tried to sort of explain what went wrong. still there is a lot of missing pieces. it's unclear who could have been done differently by the government. but what needs to be done by the government moving forward to prevent another attack in the future. that's why tomorrow is the deadline for the president's national security team.
where he gave them a deadline for the preliminary deadlines for the human failures that led to this attempted attack. we are going to watch it closely tomorrow to see if there are clues to see if there there are changes the president pushes for. meanwhile, i sat down with a top democrat today, firing back at vice president dick cheney to who today alleged that president obama has been too slow and weak in his response so far. >> i hate to say this but i think the former vice president lost all of his credibility the way he has been conducting himself. i would expect a person who had the potential of leading the country to be a bit more responsible. i thought the president was doing it in the proper fashion. well, he could have spoken up five minutes after he got the
news, but that would have been irresponsible, not knowing what the facts are. why should you instill fear when something is not justified? i think he did the right thing. >> the senator, the chairman of the appropriations committee, said the u.s. is trying to battle al qaeda in yemen now. he would not get into detail. but he said the u.s. is aware of the extremist activity in yemen and said the u.s. will act accordingly. >> the vice president came out critical of the president, saying he is trying to pretend the u.s. is not at car with terrorists. what is the white house's charge? >> reporter: dan pfeiffer put something up on the white house blog saying the president did indicate we are at war and battling terrorism. he indicated that in his
inaugural address. they believe in their firing back, saying they believe that the bush administration did not wage a smart enough war on terror. we heard that again and again on the campaign last year. it's clear that the wars left over from last year are playing out again in washington. >> ed henry, thanks so much. coming up, debating airport security. should the full body scan be available at every american airport. and the u.s. should brace for more attacks. are we ready for them? and why is the government rounding up the iconic wild mustang? have you guys seen this new "avatar" trailer ?
it was a terrible day for americans in afghanistan. eight for killed in a suicide bombing at at u.s. military base in afghanistan. according to u.s. officials, they were not members of the u.s. military. the bomber gained access to the base where he detonated an explosive vest. skurnt officials under deadline racing to piece together how so many red flags were ignored. president obama demanding
answers how it was so dangerously almost pulled off. he is expecting an explanation by tomorrow. jill doubter takes a look. we don't have jill at the moment. we hope to get that for you. the government has intensifying its support against al qaeda in yemen. the al qaeda in yemen took responsibility for the attack. saying the attempt was retaliation for u.s. strikes there, strikes we could see more of in the future. barbara starr has more on the new crackdown against al qaeda. >> reporter: the forces earlier this month on a raid against al qaeda just north of the cal tall. the military shout, come out. it is better for you. do not be afraid. shots are fired and several suspects are finally capture md. is one of yemen's efforts to hit
back at al qaeda. and several strikes may have killed some of these men is openly acknowledged. >> they are armed forces attacks. they of course supported by american intelligence and by the training of forces. >> reporter: what is next the u.s. military and the intelligence community are looking at everything they have got on al qaeda in yemen. strikes are expected to continue and could involve u.s. forces and air strikes. the sbus yemen are looking for targets linked to the attack of u.s. flight 253. but direct retaliation hasn't always worked. >> the target was terror. our missions with clear. there will be no sanctuary for terrorists. >> reporter: al qaeda was untouched in afghanistan.
operatives had long led the area. u.s. retaliation that worked in it happened in yemen in 2002. a u.s. drone fired a missile. one of the dead was an al qaeda operative believed to be behind the october 2000 attack on the "u.s. s. cole" in yemen. now, the sus continuing to provide weapons, training and intelligence in the yemeni military, but if president obama decides to launch a retaliation strike for the airline incident, the military will have a target ready. >> barbara starr, thanks. barbara bodyion has a view of it. in her service, the "usa s.
cole" was attacked. he joins us now. you are surprised that umar farouk abdulmutallab came through yemen? >> yeah, a little. he is a nigerian. it isn't the normal place you expect. a lot of people do go through yemen. and it is a major area of al qaeda warehousing. the imam is there. surprised? astounded, no in. but it's not unshl. >> is yemen in danger of becoming a failed state muff like afghanistan was? some people believe it's already a failed state. >> i don't believe that yes, ma'am season a failed state yet. it's described by friends as the
always almost failing state. it has extraordinary problems in terms of poverty and it doesn't have the resources to be an utterly successful state. it's on the brink of failure. it could reach a breaking point and missteps could force them over the edge. >> when you talk about the steps, at present, the u.s. military is iowa cysts in counterterrorism training. is the u.s. approaching yemen the right way? >> in regards to our support on counterterrorism training and providing equipment, yes, i think that is the right thing to be doing. i think we run a risk of not doing it properly is not opening up the aperture enough to include development assistant,
government assistancassistance. the range of support to stay ahead of the failure curve. if we focus solely on trying to get al qaeda, why that is a valid goal of ours, if that is the only thing we do, the rest of the indicators will continue to slide backwards and when in the long run, we will end up behind instead of ahead. >> should the united states launch preemptive military strikes in yemen? after the "cole" bombing, the administrations were criticized for not launching strikes there again. >> if the setup piece, you indicating some of the limits of the strikes. the intelligence you need to have to hit the right people at the right time is extraordinarily difficult. we're not dealing with a failed
state. there is a legitimate government there. it's one that has cooperated with us. who has a similar concern on al qaeda. and what we need to do is be a little bit smarter on which tools we use. let's use intelligence and law enforcement. let's use diplomacy and take care of them in a surgical style, if you like, than just a preemptive strike. we can't do that in a vacuum. we don't know enough about yemen. we don't know who the people are. we need to learn more before we just go in a strike. >> barbara, thanks very much. really appreciate it. here now is that dougherty report. >> reporter: president obama says that the clues were there.
a clearer picture of the terrorist suspect would have emerged if the bits and pieces had been shared. >> the suspect never would have been allowed to board that plane for america. >> reporter: as one official told us, for the most part, it's a passive system with the bits and pieces are simply pushed on with no action taken. a key question, why wasn't the suspect's vees is a revoke? the maze begins when his father says he son is radical and heads to yemen. he gives over his son's birthday, passport number and it's set in a routine cable to the national counterterrorism center in washington. here, it's just one of hundreds of reports coming in each day
with analysts with the cia, fbi and supposed to evaluate side by side. and those still coming in to make sure even seemingly insignificant dots get connected. in this case, the father's warning is treated more as a missing persons alert. the analysts put the suspect on the tide list along with 550,000 other suspicious people. that is where it stops. to put them on screening, you need reasonable links to terrorism. the count terrorism division rules the evident is simply not there. no recommendation is made to
revoke his visa. the critical point is being looked at. the threshold could be made less restrictive to allow a quicker trigger fora. that person says there was not a lack of information collection. but a lack of understanding of what to do with that information. john? >> jill dougherty reporting, thanks. coming up, looking for clues. who was the young man charged with the failed suicide attack on northwest airlines 253? and a new threat on a symbol of the american west. we have that for you next.
a controversial roundup of wild horses is under way in nevada. the federal government is moving thousands of mustangs from the habitat. the government says the area is over populated but as we report, not everyone agrees the round-ups are necessary. >> reporter: in the next two months, the federal government will be rounding up more man
2,000 wild horses and burros in nevada. the goal is to thin the herd in a stretch that when shared with other wild life can support 900 at most. animal rights activists protest. >> what government organization rounds up wild life to protect them? usually the natural ecosystem takes care of itself. >> i think it's the cattle interesting. instead of taking the wild horses east, they would move cattle off the land. >> reporter: the horse and burro drive is taking over. hughesing helicopters overhead to direct them to a trap site where they are checked by doctors to moved to other areas.
the director says the conditions of the knowy, winter season makes the drive difficult. >> they are living on soft snow and because of the distance they are moving, it's not too hot for them. so they don't necessarily overstress or get too hot as we are moving them along. and we take great precautions in moving the horses at a slow pace so we don't impact their health or safety. >> reporter: the half-ton ani l animals one like the wind. and the perception they might not run free is a deeply rooted. >> they are represented by the american public and the public does care about the horses and they are not a lobby.
but as taxpayers, we should have a say. >> reporter: that people that run the pub likt land says that gathers and relocating the animals is necessary. more than 40,000 horses are living on pastures east of their original habitat. the government has spend nearly $30 million this year main tanning the sanctuaries. horses sick or injured are euthanized but most of the herd surviving and they encourage horse lovers to adopt the animals in search of new homes. >> they look beautiful. thanks so much. coming up, we visit a city in nigeria. hometown of the accused terrorist. and the site of religious violence over the years. and those stories up next. hway
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mosque once attended by abdulmutallab, the man who tried to light up a bomb aboard the detroit flight on christmas day. the last time abdulmutallab came here to pray, his neighbors say, was in august this year, just before he went to yemen. everyone here is shocked that he is not the center of a global terrorist alert. was he devout? >> translator: he would be the first at prayers and the last to believe. but he didn't mingle. he liked isolation. >> reporter: at the local school he ea tended, which does not even teach religion, this son of a wealthy nigerian banker is remembered as well behaved and popular with his classmates. he mixed with children with all
backgrounds here? >> yes, christians, muslims. we have all religions here. and at the school. >> reporter: do you have americans here? >> yes, we have americans. >> reporter: outside of the school, violence of the streets. the city sits on one of the longest fork winds on the world. separating a christian after ran and a muslim after ra. in 2000, nearly 2,000 forkied here because of riots and then thousands were displaced after the miss world competition was to be here. growing up here, abdulmutallab was certainly no stranger to religious violence. nobody that i melt publicly supports his action you, but he
is certainly not alone in his actions against the west. the west promotes immoral values. says this trader. it's wrong for the west to support the israels to kill others. extremism is not taught here. there is no attempt to justify suicide attacks. abdulmutallab must have learned his radical ideas in his studies aboard, he says. but he says many families studies in the mideast are often returning if dangerous ideas. there are secretaries aboard trying to trap and brainwash our children, he says. the question that concerns many here now is whether abdulmutallab may not be the last young nigerian to fall prey
to radical and violent ideology. when the accused terrorism walks into court for the first time next week, he will have one of the nation's most experienced defense attorneys at his side. she no stranger to terrorism cases. >> reporter: umar farouk abdulmutallab comes from a welt write family but it won't cost him a dime. he is cut off from his parentses so the american taxpayers will cut the bill. >> if someone has a pub likt defender, they are getting a lesser quality attorney. is that the case with abdulmutallab? >> no, quite the contrary. he is gets perhaps one of the most experienced attorneys in town, if not the country with respect to his situation.
he is getting very high quality representation at no cost on himself. >> reporter: he is getting miriam seefer. >> she is one of the few that falls in the great cat gar. >> reporter: this man would no hmp se the forter head of operations in detroit. seefer is top defender in an office of 19 attorneys. how do you go about defending this? >> it's premature. >> reporter: in the first major terrorism trial of slefl, seefer defended a man accused of being part of a detroit terrorist cell. his conviction was overturned and he is living in a detroit suburb. and also appointed to defend terry nichols' brother james.
it's not new. >> they are not new they are not novices. >> reporter: they say the defense does have its challenges. not the least is a plane full of witnesses to the attack. but he thinks they have dar gaining chips as well. who if any information abdulmutallab has about connections to terrorism organizations overseas. john? >> chris laurngs, thanks. coming up, the political fallout over the mishandling of the airline bombing. and body scanning. are they necessary weapons or a costly invasion of privacy?
josh, republicans have been all over the president over the fact it took him three days to respond to what happened on christmas morning. and as you pointed out, president bush waited six days in 2001 to say anything agent richard reed. the question people are wondering, is president obama judged more harshly? >> there is a double standard. people would say it was a few months of 9/11 be now we are eight years on and they should have fixed everything. a lot of that would have been bush's fault, not obama's fault. but back in 2001, the issue wasn't brought up with president bush. reporters didn't mention it to him? >> and bob, some democrats have not been happy with the way the president responded. >> i'm amongst those. i think the white house should
have responded fastener this the crisis. i don't agree with many of my democratic friends who refer back to the shoe bomber incidence. but what is critical is the scrutiny they are facing is important and is a good thing. unlike the bush administration, there wasn't skutny for the republicans or the democrats or the media. i think that the skutny they are facing now is going to be healthy. >> former vice president cheney came out and had harsh statements about president obama and says he is trying to pretend there is no war on terror. did you believe the president is trying to pretend there is no war on terror? >> i think there are fundamental world views between republicans and democrats. i think vice president cheney comes from a roster of experience. four years at defense secretary
and vice president. he knows the threat and thinks this president should be taking a much more aggressive posture with terrorism around the globe, especial with enhances terrorism techniques or the policy with detainees in gitmo. who you have here is a fundamentally different world view. >> kevin -- >> there are going to be people on the right they agree with vice president cheney and on the left that agree with president obama. >> kevin, this is not a philosophical issue. this is about competence. and when cheney uses the world pretend, hi pretended there were weapons of mass destruction in iraq and then he pretended afghanistan is not the battle ground for terrorism. >> what about the president's approach to the war on error? hnchts he has said we are at war
on al qaeda. and in the first statement he did made, he not only said we would tighten the defenses but we are going play defense. go after them. and if you look there have been very aggressive military actions taken in yemen over the last month. predator strikes and so forth. so say they are sitting on their hands is unfair. they may use different rhetoric. >> i comes down to the krit similar for the president at the beginning of this crisis here with the nigerian was that the white house was some how content to talk about what they were going to do rather than show. and that is the difference between the past administration and this trags. right now, they seem to be talking about it and they have never showed it. >> at the same time, people have pointed out that two members of
al qaeda in the arabian peninsula were reseated and abdulmutallab got his visa in the bush administration. there is so much political ret kick thrown back and forth. is that what we need now? >> it's counterproductive. it's not unique to the democrat party. the republicans engage in the same gauge. i would point out for the record the facts are still the fact. president obama did extend the war on al qaeda in afghanistan and expanded to yes, ma'amen and somalia. it's not about showing it. it's about the rhetoric and the reality of the obama administration. >> another development tonight you are reporting on, the investigation that the president is asking for you it's going to be led by the counterterrorism strategist. and who has a deep and long history at the cia is going to
look into this. and some people might raise issues of impaetsch yalty here. who is your impression? >> it cuts across both administrations. and the counterterrorism advice her a high ranking role in the cia. what is causing difficulty for the white house tonight is that after he left government service, he went to work for a company called the analytic corporation that does work for the counterterrorism center and there is a question here of whether he is going to be reviewing work that his company did. the white house said that won't happen. they had to go through the process of an ethicsw waiver. >> do you have questions? >> i think when congress comes back, there are going to be a -- and robert zimmerman and agree
with there. there is going to be a caldron of politicians of on capitol hill that will play politics. the mistake they make is about small things, about administration officials and tsa appointments. this is going to be a hyper political year in 2010, congress is up for re-election, that we are going to see this fought about big things. the fundamental world view. republicans and democrats. >> ms more than that. it's the skutny about the way that to fight the war on terrorism. and that is how we see congress distinguish itself. coming up, a security measure is back on the table. we will tell you why full body scans are an invasion of your privacy.
new security measures ordered day in amsterdam. the dutch government will use full body scans on passengers. there has been talk about brings such scans to united states. sandra oh reports critics say it goes too far. >> reporter: this is a full body scan at airports. but it's controversial and confusing. the tsa is showing off the latest technology in a move to alleviate fears in the body scan machines. right now there are 40 body fan machines, but the tsa is standing up to $170,000 apiece to buy 150 more for next year and plans to get another 250
units for 2012. one uses back scatter technology to produce an kpa image. the other shoes a photo negative tiff of the person. this demonstration, they want to show that privacy is in place. the office would be in a remote location in this booth. and each person's face would be blurred out and no image would be stored. in this video, it shows tsa is able to get bombed materials postscreenerers. still a body scanner would have stopped the alleged ris has day bomber. >> i believe they would have detected there was something there on his body.
it may not have detected it as an explosive but it would have raised flags that would have required review. >> reporter: full body scanners should not be the only answer. >> right now, it's not working for security but for travelers. the system isn't working. it's time to press pause and do a review and put in place the policies to provide bherk the most security and sufficient travel process. >> reporter: pangss do have the right to refuse the body scan, but the body scan is now around the world including amsterdam and nigeria. >> joining me now is a congressman who has proposed
legislation banning body scans. congressman, good to see you tonight. who what do you think of the dutch saying that all people will go through one of the total body screeners. are you happy about that? >> applaud who they are doing and the software they are developing that can actually read and look at the scan and see if there is an anomaly that requires ootd screening. that could alive yate the privacy concern that i have be others have. >> if the united states were to adopt the same sort of software technology in body scanners here, would you be comfortable with them as a primary method of screening? >> yeah f you get rid of the personal privacy issues, where you don't have an individual looking at my 8-year-old daughter naked to get on an
airplane, yeah. and christmas day that is a poster child for who should get second dare screening. >> should have, could have, would have. hindsight is always 20/20. under your bill, he may not have been required to go through mat sheen because he didn't set off an alarm that would have taken him to the secondary screening. your bill has them used if there is reason to not allow the passenger on the care craft. >> he sl shn't have got ton the airport. >> he did get the airport. last line of defense, who what is the best way to approach snit. >> we want to have safety and security to everyone but we have to balance out the security issues. we have to find technology that
is more effective and less invasive. p if you have someone go through a medal detector and walk by a dog, i would have solved the problem and people would have been happy. the technology is there. we need to implement it. >> for a dog to screen somebody, they need to get the nose up close and personal and we know where the fella had the bomb hidden. do you think passengers would be comfortable to have a dog -- and they seem to be hard wired to do this, stick a nose in his crotch? >> i don't know how close they have to get. on cnn.com there is a video about how effective the dogs can be. the think the american people, i demand, that we are more effective and less invasive. let's maintain privacy and
increase security. we had failures as the president said, the guy gets to the airport. let's do everything we can to get a balance your measure provide if someone doesn't want to go through the back scanner, they can opt for a patdown. how thorough would that be? again, i don't mean to be obsessed with crotches tonight. we know where he did the bomb hidden. and most patdowns don't go there. >> you worry about them scoring something in a body cavity. and again that is where i think fido the dog might be the solution we need. i need to start profiling terrorists notch not based on race or religion, but we have to start profiling terrorists and get more serious about screening them and not allowing them to get on airplanes.
and the 550,000 people on a watch list who is watching those people? they have be highlighted as secondary zreening that is invasive and thorough. >> thanks for coming on. >> happy new year. >> same to you, sir. coming up at the top of of hour, campbell brown here with a preview. >> we are going to stay on the story at the top of the hour. we have more on the missed signals leading up to the christmas day bombing attempt. and tonight's news maker, john, the man who spend nearly four years as homeland security secretary. michael chertoff. he is going to tell me how he believes we can and should fix it. >> thanks. see you soon. it appears that texas tech will have to play the alamo bowl without its head coach. the head coach was fired after accusations of player mistreatment. it came hours before he was due
in court about the issue. he was con vining a wide receiver to small, dark spaces after he complained of concussion symptoms. in november, kansas football coach mike manbegino resigned. coming up next, a music video becomes a national treasure. stay with us. you a cop? no. you didn't hear from me, but this malibu is a best buy. i heard that from consumers digest. it offers better highway mileage than a comparable camry or accord. estimated 33 highway. i saw that on the epa site. so how come the malibu costs so little. it's a chevy. you have cop hair. the award-winning chevy malibu. compare it to anyone and may the best car win. this is amazing.
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